Happy National Volunteer Week! This week is a time to celebrate the incredible efforts of volunteers across Australia. At Habitat for Humanity Australia, we are proud to work with dedicated volunteers who give their time and energy to support our mission of building a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Over the last year we’ve had 1195 volunteers support vulnerable Australians, including 366 corporate volunteers and 669 community volunteers on our Brush with Kindness program! This week, we want to recognise the contributions of all the generous people who have lent their time to working with Habitat and highlight some of the important programs they support.
Here are three of our key volunteer programs at Habitat for Humanity Australia.
1. Brush with Kindness
The Brush with Kindness program focuses on creating a safe, secure, and most importantly, dignified place to call home for those who need it most. We often work with organisations like Wesley Mission to refurbish, maintain and improve domestic violence crises accommodation as well as youth shelters and men’s post-jail rehabilitation shelters. Each week teams of volunteers are mobilised to work on the program; since its launch in 2005, Brush with Kindness has completed over 700 projects and engaged over 5,000 volunteers. These volunteers have contributed over 50,000 hours (about 5 and a half years all up!) of their time, making a tangible difference in the lives of our most vulnerable community members.
2. Bushfire Resilience
Habitat for Humanity Australia’s Bushfire Resilience Program is another important facet of our organisation. This program offers critical support to communities who may be affected by bushfires, helping them maintain and protect their homes. In a country like Australia where the impacts of Climate Change are more and more prevalent, a program like Bushfire Resilience is crucial. Through the program we have helped hundreds of people to maintain their land and protect themselves against future fire threats. We are also proud to work with the Minderoo Foundation’s Australian Resilience Corps to further our impact in this space and continue to help many more people feel secure in their homes.
3. Global Village
After a three year hiatus due to the pandemic, our Global Village builds are back in action! The Global Village program is a wonderful way for volunteers to make a difference on a global scale.
The program offers volunteers the opportunity to travel overseas and work alongside Habitat for Humanity teams in building homes for vulnerable members of the local community. Volunteers not only gain valuable experience in construction but also learn about diverse cultures and communities. Since the program’s launch in 2002, over 2,000 Australians have taken part, making a difference in communities around the world. The Global Village program is not just a great experience for our Habitat volunteers but also the families with whom we work, many are struggling to make ends meet, may not have a safe and secure home, are experiencing the effects of climate change first hand or are facing unexpected adversity, whilst all are working tirelessly to better their lives and the lives of their families, partnering with Habitat and our Global Village program offers a little extra boost to empower and support them to achieve their goals. Habitat is not just about building shelter but about creating long term safety and security, however that may come.
As we celebrate National Volunteer Week, we want to express our gratitude to all the volunteers who have supported Habitat for Humanity Australia’s mission. Your time and energy have helped make a tangible difference in the lives of those in need. We hope that you will continue to support our programs and join us in building a world where everyone has a decent place to live.If you are interested in volunteering with Habitat for Humanity Australia, please visit our volunteer sign up page, ‘Helping Hands’ here.